The Pan Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has stated that the seven-day request made by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the problems associated with cash insufficiency in the country was too long, saying the double-edged problem of fuel and Naira note insufficiency has made lives of numerous Nigerians miserable.
Afenifere in press statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, said that the seven days request tends to suggest that President Buhari, “Doesn’t appreciate the enormity and the intensity of the pains Nigerians are going through all in attempts to draw cash from their accounts in banks across the country.
The organization argued that several lives have been lost already just as social and economic activities have been seriously paralyzed.
For the nation to have to hold on for another seven days is to say that the people can continue to go on suffering. That lives can continue to be lost and that businesses can continue to be crippled, ”they said.
It would be recalled that President Buhari said that he’ll take a decision ‘ one way or the other ’ within the seven days that the new deadline for the currency exchange remains.
The governors had met the President to inform him of the agonizing pains Nigerians are going through in their attempts to withdraw money from the banks and swap the old Naira notes with new ones.
It would be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria last year in October, came up with redesigned notes for N1,000, N500 and N200, stating that the deadline to replace the old notes with new ones was January 31, 2023. But by that time, millions of Nigerians haven’t been able to swap their currencies.
Afenifere stated that the inability of the President to act hastily urged the progressive governor to urge the President to, “ Act quickly because lives and economies of Nigerians are seriously in threat as a result of the difficulties in getting cash and fuel ”.
The group noted that it took the president about six months to constitute its cabinet in his first term just as his administration seems to be dilly- dallying where resolute way are demanded.
The organisation further stated that the situation on ground presently, “ calls for urgent, well- thought-out andpro-people steps so as to hastily put an end to the avoidable complaints of the people.
The clamor of Nigerians forced the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele to acquire the consent of President Buhari last week Sunday, to extend the deadline to February 10, 2023. But even also, Nigerians have been finding it really problematic to obtain not just the new notes but even the old currency notes from their banks and sundry financial institutions that deal with cash. The situation became so critical that people in some cities in the country protested. The protest led to the death of at least two people in Ibadan.
It noted that bank customers narrate unpalatable experiences, saying, ’’An instance was that of a client who wanted to withdraw N40,000 but was told that the max he could withdraw was N5,000! CBN last week gave a ridiculous directive that no individual should withdraw further than N20,000 per day.
Afenifere said feelings of Nigerians predictably ran high due to frustration, pointing out that in places like Ibadan, Benin, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Bauchi, Lagos etc, there was stresses galore.